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“Home for Christmas: Packing Up” – Rev. John Shaver

12-31-17 Audio

AnnouncementsOrder of Worship

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Dear SDUMC Family,

As I started to write the last E-News of 2017, I was going to relay a number of celebrations we have shared together at SDUMC this year. It has been an exciting time of ministry, and as I’ve watched our united and collaborative spirit, please know that I thank God for each of you.

As I went for a run with a church friend this morning, we had a good time of conversation sharing hopes for the year to come. When I came home and took down a few boxes and started to put Christmas away, I came upon this poem by Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman and I hope in these fading days of Christmastide you’ll find some time to ponder like Mary…

How good it is to center down! To sit quietly and see one’s self pass by! The streets of our minds seethe with endless traffic; Our spirits resound with clashings, with noisy silences, while something deep within hungers and thirsts for the still moment and the resting lull. With full intensity we seek, ere the quiet passes, a fresh sense of order in our living; a direction, a strong sure purpose that will structure our confusion and bring meaning in our chaos. We look at ourselves in this waiting moment – the kinds of people we are. The questions persist:  what are we doing with our lives? – what are the motives that order our days? What is the end of our doings? Where are we trying to go? Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused? For what end do we make sacrifices? Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life? What do I hate most in life and to what am I true? Over and over the questions beat in upon the waiting moment. As we listen, floating up through all the jangling echoes of our turbulence, there is a sound of another kind – A deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear. It moves directly to the core of our being. Our questions are answered, our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round With the peace of the Eternal in our step.How good it is to center down!

I look forward to “centering down” with you on our last Sunday of 2017. We’ll have a joyous time at a family-friendly service – singing Carols and then sharing in the great gift of Communion (Remember just one hour of worship and come casual).

Thank you for an inspiring 2017, and I look forward to an exciting year of ministry in 2018 – in the Greater North County and around the world!

Grace, Peace, and Thanks, John

PS I also hope you’ll join me at the Youth Group Pancake Breakfast starting at 9 AM to benefit their missional work!

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